Below you’ll find a list of stories (arranged in no particular order) set in the Downton Abbey universe that kill me softly or warm the cockles of my heart or both and that I totally wish I’d written. I’ll gladly take suggestions in my ask box!
.:. Pro Patria by bc-7178 | canon, ficlet, complete, rated: pg-13.
→ notable passage: She envied him the prospect of a death so dramatic, so liberating. For how long would she be condemned to mourn him in secret? Would she be reminded of him by the sunlit blue eyes of a child in the street? Would his laughter ring in her ears every time she was served a meringue pudding?
.:. Deconstruction by Captain Evermind | canon, one-shot, complete, rated: r.
→ notable passage: Lavinia watches as Mary rolls the stem of her wineglass between slim white fingers; every fingertip leaves a trace, blurred prints upon the cool glass; and her dress is the colour of her lips, and her lips are the colour of wine. Lavinia does not understand it, but Mary fascinates her; she feels her mouth quirk upwards when Mary smiles, and she blushes when Mary turns towards her with arched brows and cynical eyes.
.:. Preferred Stock by Chickwriter | modern au, multi-chapter, incomplete, rated: r.
→ notable passage: "Eddie," Mary began, but the door was shut, and the music began, loud and angry, and Mary began to cry. And Eddie, whose own eyes were swimming, bent over her sketch pad and began, broad strokes at first, and then smaller and smaller, the claw of the monster reaching toward the three tiny figures in the corner as the tallest of the three held out her own hand.
.:. You & Me of the 10,000 Wars by allthingsholy | modern au, multi-chapter, incomplete, rated: pg-13.
→ notable passage: It’s more impressive than any haggling Matthew’s ever seen between CEOs of top-market companies and he’s reminded all in a rush that she’s Violet’s granddaughter, Robert’s daughter, and a force entirely her own.
.:. Hunting Ghosts and The Devil on Your Back by Chickwriter | canon, three-parter, complete, rated: r.
→ notable passage: But at the first step inside the empty stable yard, Diamond stopped. She squeezed his sides. “Walk on,” she said firmly, but he dug in his heels. His head looked about wildly, his ears flat back. “Diamond, it’s all right,” she said softly, and reached up to pat his neck, but he shied sideways and began to back away. Ghosts, she thought to herself. He’s seeing ghosts here, just as I did.
.:. Mary by jadeandlilac | canon, ficlet, complete, rated: g.
→ notable passage: Mary - touch of the languid beginning on the lips, the end like an after thought. How it pulls at the corners of the mouth, a smile every time one says her name: in greeting, on parting, even when she is not there.
.:. The Loves of Matthew Crawley by jadeandlilac | canon, one-shot, complete, rated: pg-13.
→ notable passage: And when his mother says, “You know,” pausing in the midst of the move from Manchester, her gloves cast aside and her hands full of odds and ends, “You are so very like him. Like your father, I mean. Remember that, Matthew.” When she says that, he loves her more than he can say. Not because she is perfect, but because she has always known just what to say.
.:. Is That You In Front Of Me? by oltha-heri | au from 1919, one-shot, complete, rated: pg.
→ notable passage: She is glad of the easy way he leans against the frame of the window to look at the grounds. That when the door is opened for her he does not jump to attention as he would have done ten years ago. Instead he turns to look at her and nods to the footman who had allowed her entrance in easy dismissal. She is once again reminded for a painful moment that this could be their life. Then she remembers she is annoyed with him.
.:. Till Human Voices Wake Us by stellabelle | canon, one-shot, complete, rated: pg.
→ notable passage: In the days to come, Mary must be coaxed from his side. It is with shock that she realizes she has come to imagine she belongs there. And she imagines, too, that she could be the one to sit with him through the long nights, wiping sweat from his temples and calming the nightmares. But this is not appropriate; not even for Lavinia. She sleeps with great restlessness, and when she dreams they are fleeting: a world at peace; her sisters playing at the folly as children; and she, grey at the temples, and beside him still.
.:. Memento by EOlivet | au from 1916, one-shot, complete, rated: r.
→ notable passage: Her body convulsed blissfully, a quiet moan escaping her throat as she reached out a hand to steady herself, her fist closing around grass and… dirt. Mud. Exhaling sharply, she flung her other hand out, grabbing at the earth. Forcing herself to concentrate when every ounce of her wanted to give herself over to the sensations pulsing through her body, over and over and over… and oh, she could not lose herself just yet… With a sigh, she grabbed hold of his shoulders, over his back with her dirty hands - branding him, imprinting this world and Downton and her upon him (around him).
.:. Proof of Life by EOlivet | au from 1918, one-shot, complete, rated: r.
→ notable passage: However filthy this water was, it was downright pristine compared to the water he’d seen. No blood, no bodies, no artillery fire overhead. Just silence and the morning and the spring and his thoughts… and… and… He turned back around, seeing her so very far away. She was a blurry vision there on the dock, but a vision nonetheless. Keeping her in his sight, he swam closer - a straight line from him to her. She was sitting and then she appeared to be… moving her foot onto the dock. At first, he thought she was getting up to leave, but it soon became apparent she was… working at the fasteners of her boot.
.:. Second Spring by moetushie | au futurefic, one-shot, complete, rated: g.
→ notable passage: He loves her. Through the wasted years, and all the bitter words, that has never changed. It would never change. On the other side lies only love, that endures long after all thought of hurt has gone. He never had a chance with anyone else.
.:. For Sharp-Eyed Lovers by moetushie | au from 1916, one-shot, complete, rated: pg-13.
→ notable passage: "I cannot have anymore dead lovers," she says, looking at him directly. "I will try not to die," he replies, amused. What she means is this: come back, come back to me, whole or broken, just come back.
.:. Morning Glow and By Your Light by ellyrianna | au from 1918, two-parter, complete, rated: pg-13.
→ notable passage: She laid his fingers against her cheek, and all his skin broke out in gooseflesh. Her face, her angular, hard, impassive face, laid soft and bare beneath his touch. He rubbed his thumb over her cheekbone, and then his fingers slid to her neck. He touched her hair, closed his eyes, remembered it dark and lustrous, pinned in snaking coils and elaborate knots against the back of her head. Now it hung loose. He trailed his hand through it, found it tapered off to an end tied in a ribbon. Mary wore a ribbon in her hair. Like a girl, she wore a ribbon in her hair. Matthew laughed, and choked, and did not want to cry.
.:. Quenchless Fires by Ju-dou | au from 1917, missing scene from The Silent Land, complete, rated: r.
→ notable passage: The ceiling of the church was high and the aisle wide but Mary had felt as if she were suffocating, as if every pair of eyes was watching the breath leaving her body as she was crushed. Everything was too tight, the dress, the corset, her heart.
.:. I Speak Not by Ju-dou | au from 1917, missing scene from The Silent Land, complete, rated: r.
→ notable passage: The slight pressure of her fingertips on his wrist seemed to quicken his heart and he could hear it in his ears, not racing, or rushing or pounding as it did when he placed the whistle in his mouth in the trench, the lives of a hundred men under his command. It was not like that, his pulse shivered, it trembled at the thought of her and it beat so fast it was as if it were not beating at all, a flick of a taut wire that vibrates so quickly it appears not to move.
.:. The Silent Land by Ju-dou | au from 1917, multi-chapter, complete, rated: pg-13.
→ notable passage: The strength of the impact had winded her and she had lost all breath, gasping for air, panic spreading through her as she felt she would suffocate. Then, when she had taken what felt like a first breath of air into her lungs, her hands flew to her stomach and she felt a small firm movement, as if in reply. I am here. She cried, finally she cried. Thank you, God.
(New additions to the list will appear at the top.)